Just ahead of the debut of the Tiguan Active GTE concept, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn announced the company had officially launched a Goodwill program for its 3.0-liter TDI diesel engines, which were implicated in the dieselgate emissions scandal last fall.
Just like the 2.0 TDI Goodwill program before it, owners of VW vehicles powered by the 3.0-liter TDI diesel engine will be offered two $500 prepaid gift cards. One will be spendable anywhere the owner chooses, while the second will only be redeemable at a Volkswagen dealer.
Volkswagen didn’t end its diesel discussion there, however. “We know we deeply disappointed our customers, the responsible government bodies, and the general public here in the U.S. I apologize for what went wrong at Volkswagen,” Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller said.
“We are totally committed to making things right.”
Additionally, Volkswagen reiterated that it is in discussions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on its diesel emissions repairs proposal that the carmakersubmitted to the agencies on Nov. 20.
The carmaker emphasized that the U.S. repair plan would be “presented as soon as these are fully approved by the authorities.” This month, VW will begin its diesel repairs in Europe, which were also announced in November.
While it’s not yet clear how VW will address the repairs in the U.S., Reuters reports the company has devised a new catalytic converter that it would install on some 430,000 of its affected diesel models.
Not only would the modifications bring the cars into compliance with emissions regulations, they would save owners from the feared fate of losing both fuel economy and performance — the two most prized qualities of VW diesels.
The technical solution might please regulators and most owners, but Volkswagen still has a hugely damaged reputation to worry about. At the press conference in Detroit, Horn stated the company’s goal for 2016 would be to rebuild brand trust. That, however, will likely prove much harder to fix than the tailpipes of its diesel cars.